France will vote against the extension of the European Union’s authorization of glyphosate for ten years, Agriculture Minister Stéphane Travert said on Thursday. Glyphosate is a herbicide deemed dangerous by environmental defenders and by the French Minister for the Ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot, but which farmers want to be able to continue to use. In particular, it is part of the composition of Monsanto’s Roundup.
“France will vote no, will vote against the ten-year renewal of glyphosate,” Stéphane Travert told France 2. To be validated, the European Commission’s proposal must garner the support of 16 of the 28 member states, representing at least 65 % of EU population. However, there is no question of immediately banning the use of this product in France, said Stéphane Travert.
Intensive lobbying of pesticide and herbicide manufacturers
“The Prime Minister instructed me, with my colleague (…) Nicolas Hulot, to find the means to establish a schedule for the release of this product, the fastest schedule but which will have to find the right trajectory to allow the necessary transition, especially in the agricultural professions. ” This trajectory should allow farmers to gradually reduce the use of this herbicide, argued the Minister of Agriculture. It is the duration of this transition that the French government has yet to decide.
“If we postpone to ten years and for ten years we do nothing, in ten years we will be exactly at the same level as today. So, we must (…) provide research with the means to find substitute products “, explained the minister.
Stéphane Travert assured that he had not received the very active lobby of the manufacturers of pesticides and herbicides, including Monsanto, which has been trying for years to counter scientific studies according to which glyphosate is carcinogenic. “They did not come to see me, I did not contact them and I will not receive them,” he said.